If you’ve never had one, chemical peels can be scary.
For Sex and the City fans, the phrase alone may bring back memories of a horrified Samantha’s not-so-pretty post-peel face. But don’t fret — the deep phenol peel depicted in the popular series is rarely performed these days.
Today’s medical-grade chemical peels offer wonderful results with minimal down time. Yes, you may experience some flaking and peeling for a few days, but you won’t look anything like Samantha.
In fact, these next-generation chemical peels have become so popular that they were the third most common cosmetic procedures in 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. They are used to treat brown spots, melasma, acne, scarring, sun damage and uneven skin tone, and to even out texture and give the skin a healthy glow.
Chemical peels involve the application of fruit-based acids — including glycolic, lactic, salicylic, citric, kojic, trichloroacetic and azelaic acid — to the skin. These self-neutralizing peels are typically left on the skin for the entire day and washed off at home in the evening or the following morning. The skin absorbs the acids and exfoliates, or peels, a few days after their application. Although peeling usually occurs for two or three days, it can last for as many as five to seven days.
Ask your skin care provider which chemical peel is right for you.